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Brioche French toast and more great breakfast recipes. (Credit: Gordon M. Grant, Recipe by Lauren Chattman)

Brioche French toast and more great breakfast recipes.

Breakfast recipes to break you out of the cold-cereal rut

Start the day right with everything from a quick muffin or granola, to pancakes and French toast.

Homemade Pop Tarts

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: For the filling: 1
(Credit: Eve Bishop, Recipe by Lauren Chattman)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

For the filling:
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
¾ cup jam
Two disks (about 1¼ pounds) homemade or store-bought pie dough, chilled

For the frosting (optional):
1 cup powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
Sprinkles

HOW TO:

1. Make filling: Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Place the jam in a small pot, add the cornstarch mixture and cook over medium-low until hot. Transfer back to the bowl and let cool completely.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll one piece of pastry into a 13-inch-by-11-inch rectangle. Trim to an even 12-inch-by-10-inch rectangle. Use a sharp paring knife or a pizza wheel to cut into eight 5-inch-by-3-inch rectangles. Transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet.

3. Spoon the cooled filling over the smaller rectangles. Roll and cut the remaining piece of pastry as above and top preserves with a second small rectangle. Press the edges with the tines of a fork to seal. Use a skewer or toothpick to poke a few holes in the top of each pastry. Place baking sheet in freezer for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake pastries until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pastries to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. Make frosting: Whisk together powdered sugar and heavy cream until smooth. Spread or drizzle over cooled pastries (if drizzling, you might want to add more cream, ½ teaspoon at a time, for a looser consistency). Sprinkle with sprinkles. Let stand until frosting is set (about 20 minutes) and serve. Makes 8 breakfast pastries.

Spinach and swiss frittata

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 8 large eggs 1/2
(Credit: Marge Perry)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
8 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 slices bacon
6 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 ounces shredded Swiss cheese

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl; whisk.

3. Heat a 10-inch nonstick and ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp, turning once, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels; chop when cool.

4. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet and return to stove over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in spinach and reserved bacon and cook 2 minutes.

5. Pour in egg mixture and stir gently to evenly distribute vegetable mixture. Stir in the cheese. Cook until eggs are partially set, about 5 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are cooked through and top is lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, let stand 5 minutes. Slide frittata onto cutting board or platter and cut into 6 wedges to serve. Can be eaten hot or room temperature. Makes 6 servings.

Bacon-and-cheese cornbread pudding

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 3 large eggs, divided
(Credit: Marge Perry)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
3 large eggs, divided
3 cups milk, divided
1 (8.5-ounce) box cornbread mix
6 pieces bacon
2 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

HOW TO:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a deep-dish pie plate with cooking spray.

2. Lightly beat 1 egg with 1 cup of milk; stir in the cornbread mix and let stand 5 minutes to allow some (not all) of the lumps to dissolve. Transfer to the pie dish and bake until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean, about 17 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and allow cornbread to cool. When cool, cut in 1-inch pieces.

3. Cook the bacon; drain on paper towel and crumble.

4. Beat the remaining 2 eggs with a fork; stir in the remaining 2 cups of milk and the cheese. Add the cornbread, bacon and scallions; allow to stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cornbread becomes soggy.

5. Wipe out the pie dish and again coat with cooking spray. Pour the bread pudding mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the center is just set and a toothpick comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into wedges to serve. Makes 8 servings.

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Baked apple cider doughnuts

For regular-size doughnuts, triple the recipe, use
(Credit: Eve Bishop, Recipe by Lauren Chattman)


For regular-size doughnuts, triple the recipe, use a 6-section doughnut pan and bake for 15 minutes.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

For the doughnuts:

3/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon buttermilk or plain yogurt
1/4 cup apple cider
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg yolk

For the glaze:

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon apple cider
Pinch nutmeg

HOW TO:

1. Make the doughnuts: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the impressions of a mini doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, cider, butter and egg.

3. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just moistened. Divide batter among the doughnut impressions. Bake until the doughnuts are well risen and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4. While doughnuts are cooling, make the glaze: Whisk together confectioners' sugar, cider and nutmeg in a small bowl. Dip tops of doughnuts into glaze, letting excess glaze drip back into bowl. Return to the rack, glazed sides up, and let stand until the glaze is set, about 15 minutes. Makes 12 mini doughnuts.

Goat-cheese-and-chive scrambled eggs

Put the tomatoes in the oven just before
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant, Recipe by Lauren Chattman)

Put the tomatoes in the oven just before you go to bed, and when you wake up they will be dried to perfection. If you'd like, skip the biscuits and serve the eggs and tomatoes with toasted slices of country bread.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

For tomatoes:

6 small plum tomatoes, halved
Salt

For biscuits:

8 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
3/4 cup milk

For eggs:

8 large eggs
1/4 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

HOW TO:

1. For tomatoes: Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise and place cut-side up on rack. Sprinkle with salt. Bake tomatoes until wrinkled and shrunken, 8 to 9 hours. Remove baking sheet from oven and let stand while preparing biscuits and eggs.

2. Make biscuits: Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Cook bacon in a large skillet until just beginning to crisp. Transfer pieces to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool.

3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add chilled butter pieces and bacon and, with an electric mixer, mix on low speed until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in milk until mixture just starts to form clumps.

4. Turn mixture onto a floured countertop and gently knead once or twice until dough comes together. With a lightly floured rolling pin, gently roll dough to 1/2 inch thick. Dip a 3-inch biscuit cutter in flour and cut as many biscuits as you can; transfer them to a baking sheet. Pat scraps together and repeat with remaining dough. Bake until light golden, 9 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

5. For eggs: Beat eggs, half-and-half, salt and black pepper to taste in a large bowl. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add eggs, sprinkle with goat cheese and chives, and let stand 20 seconds before pushing solidifying outer edges toward center of pan and letting liquid flow to outer edges. Continue to push solidified eggs to center of pan until everything is just set.

6. Divide eggs among 4 plates and serve with biscuits and tomatoes on side. Makes 4 servings.

Healthy granola

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 4 cups old-fashioned rolled
(Credit: Eve Bishop, Recipe by Lauren Chattman)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup flaxseeds
1/3 cup unsalted pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup dark (not blackstrap) molasses
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup raisins or sweetened dried cranberries

HOW TO:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the oats, almonds, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds, ginger, cinnamon, molasses, vanilla and oil in a large bowl. Spread in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the oats are crisp and lightly colored, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet.

2. Stir together the oat mixture and raisins. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Makes about 6 cups granola.

Fritatta with kale, red peppers and goat cheese

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant, Recipe by Lauren Chattman)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
2 cups coarsely chopped kale
6 large eggs
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
Salt
Ground black pepper

HOW TO:

1. Move an oven rack to the top position and heat the broiler.

2. Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add onion and pepper and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add kale and cook, stirring, until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Lightly beat eggs, goat cheese, salt and pepper in a medium-size bowl.

4. Add egg mixture to pan and stir to distribute vegetables evenly. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until almost set but still loose on top, 8 to 10 minutes, occasionally sliding a thin metal spatula under eggs to loosen.

5. Place pan directly under broiler and cook until top is browned and set, 1 to 2 minutes. Slide onto platter. Let cool slightly, cut into wedges and serve warm or let cool to room temperature before cutting and serving.

Brioche French toast

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 3 large eggs 1/4
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant, Recipe by Lauren Chattman)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
3 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 (1-inch) slices brioche or challah
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups blueberries
3/4 cup maple syrup

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place a heatproof platter in oven. Whisk together eggs, sugar, half-and-half and vanilla in a large bowl.

2. Place brioche slices in a shallow baking dish and pour egg mixture over bread. Let stand 2 minutes, turn, and let stand another 2 minutes.

3. While bread is soaking, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 3 slices of soaked bread and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides. Transfer to platter in oven. Repeat with remaining butter and bread.

4. While toast is cooking, combine blueberries and maple syrup in a medium pot. Cook over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until syrup is warmed through.

5. Arrange French toast on serving plates, top with blueberries and syrup, and serve. Makes 3 to 4 servings.

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Tomato, cheddar cheese and mustard-seed scones

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 pound tomatoes, cored
(Credit: Eve Bishop, Recipe by Lauren Chattman)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 pound tomatoes, cored and quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
Black pepper
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes and chilled
4 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup mustard seeds
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten, for brushing tops of scones
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine tomatoes, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper to taste in a bowl and transfer to baking sheet in a single layer. Roast until softened and wrinkled, 30 to 45 minutes. Let cool, squeeze juices from tomatoes and discard, and coarsely chop tomato flesh.

2. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Combine flour, dry mustard, sugar, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large mixing bowl. Add chilled butter pieces and mix with an electric mixer on low speed until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in cheese and mustard seeds until distributed. Mix in milk, 2eggs and Dijon mustard until dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in tomatoes. Do not overmix.

4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide in half. Shape each half into a 6-inch disk. Use a sharp chef's knife or bench scraper to cut each disk into 6 wedges. Place wedges 1/2 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with remaining egg. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm or let cool completely.

Zucchini pancakes

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 1/2 cups (about
(Credit: Lauren Chattman)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 1/2 cups (about 8 3/4 ounces) coarsely grated zucchini
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Lemon wedges for serving

HOW TO:

1. Combine zucchini, flour, egg, water, salt and pepper to taste in a large mixing bowl.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Spoon tablespoonfuls of zucchini mixture into pan and cook, turning once, until both sides are golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes in all. Repeat with remaining oil and batter.

3. Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side. Makes 4 side-dish servings.

Overnight oatmeal with apricots and cherries

After cooking overnight, add milk or water
(Credit: Marge Perry)


After cooking overnight, add milk or water if you like oatmeal thinner or smoother; top with additional brown sugar or honey, cinnamon or chopped nuts, as desired.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 cup steel-cut oats
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup (about 12) dried apricots, quartered
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups water

HOW TO:

Coat a slow cooker pot with cooking spray. Add the oats, cherries, apricots, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, salt and water and stir. Cook on low 8 hours. Makes 4 servings.

Baked eggs with spinach, bacon and potatoes

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 4 strips center-cut bacon
(Credit: Marge Perry)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
4 strips center-cut bacon
2 medium red potatoes, (8 ounces total), cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 cups baby spinach
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
8 large eggs

HOW TO:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat the inside of 4 (6-ounce) ramekins with cooking spray.

2. Cook the bacon in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel; crumble bacon when cool.

3. Add the potatoes to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned and tender, 12 to 14 minutes. Add the spinach and nutmeg, and cook, tossing, until just wilted, 2 minutes. Combine vegetables with bacon and spoon the mixture into the ramekins. Add 1 tablespoon of cheese to each.

4. Beat eggs with fork until fairly smooth and pour into the ramekins. Place on a tray and bake about 20 minutes, until the eggs are set -- a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Blueberry-ricotta breakfast cake

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta
(Credit: Eve Bishop, Recipe by Lauren Chattman)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup fresh blueberries, picked over

HOW TO:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together ricotta and eggs in a large glass measuring cup. Whisk together flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

2. Add ricotta mixture and lemon zest to bowl with flour mixture. Stir with a spatula until moistened (it will be lumpy). Stir in butter until incorporated. Stir in blueberries.

3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pan 5 minutes, invert onto a wire rack, and then turn right side up to cool slightly. Cut into 9 squares and serve warm or let cool completely before cutting into squares and serving. Makes 9 servings.

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Cardamom-spiced sour cream cake doughnuts

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: Vegetable oil for frying
(Credit: Eve Bishop, Recipe by Lauren Chattman)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Vegetable oil for frying
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar (optional)

HOW TO:

1. Pour 2 to 3 inches of oil into a deep pot or large Dutch oven. The oil shouldn't fill more than half of the pot. Attach a thermometer to the side of the pan so it dips into the oil. Heat over medium until it reaches 375 degrees. Set wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Place two layers of paper towels on top of rack.

2. While the oil heats, combine the flour, sugar, cardamom, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix on low with an electric mixer until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add sour cream, milk and egg, and mix until a dough forms.

3. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Use doughnut cutter to cut into 12 doughnuts and 12 doughnut holes. Fry doughnuts in oil, 3 or 4 at a time, turning once, until golden on both sides. Transfer cooked doughnuts to rack to drain and cool. Repeat with remaining doughnuts and holes, monitoring oil carefully and adjusting heat to maintain a cooking temperature of 360 degrees.

4. Place confectioners' sugar in a brown paper bag. Add 2 doughnuts, shake gently to coat, and transfer to a platter. Repeat with remaining doughnuts and doughnut holes. Serve immediately. Makes 12 doughnuts and 12 doughnut holes.

Vegetable quiche

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 ready-to-bake piecrust 1
(Credit: Marge Perry)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 ready-to-bake piecrust
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced spring onion
12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup sweet peas
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup nonfat milk
4 ounces (1 cup) crumbled feta
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram, chopped

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place piecrust in pie plate; crimp edges. Bake 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and deeply golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from pan; add asparagus, peas and 1/4 cup of water and cook, stirring, until vegetables are bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

3. Combine the eggs, milk, feta and marjoram. Stir in onions and asparagus mixture and pour into the partially baked crust. Bake in center of oven until set, about 40 minutes. A toothpick inserted in center should be clean. Let cool at least 5 minutes before cutting into wedges. Makes 8 servings.

Bran muffins with figs and sesame seeds

To vary the recipe, try another combination:
(Credit: Lauren Chattman)


To vary the recipe, try another combination: Raisins and flax seeds, cranberries and pumpkin seeds, dried cherries and sunflower seeds. Or try apricots with finely chopped almonds, or prunes with finely chopped walnuts.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup wheat bran
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup dark (not blackstrap) molasses
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup stemmed and finely chopped dried figs
1/3 cup raw sesame seeds

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

2. Whisk together flours, bran, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add oil, molasses, eggs, vanilla and yogurt. Stir until all ingredients are moistened. Stir in figs and sesame seeds.

3. Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes, invert onto wire rack and turn right-side up on rack to cool completely. Makes 12 muffins.

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